American diets are often about obsessing about calorie and fat intake and using a diary or app to keep track of it all. Intuitive eating is a “mindful” way of nourishing yourself; It involves eating when your body signals you and stopping when you are full. The concept is that the body knows what it needs, and you will have cravings related to that need. “Some days this might be a kale salad with veggies and lentils; another day, it might be a burger and fries.” Suppressing urges may result in binging later. Here are 10 tips for practicing intuitive eating:

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality: Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you the false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently.
  • Honor Your Hunger: Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise, you can trigger an urge to overeat.
  • Make Peace with Food: Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat.
  • Challenge the Food Police: Scream a loud no to thoughts in your head that declare you’re ‘good’ for eating minimal calories or ‘bad’ because you ate a piece of chocolate cake.
  • Truly Enjoy Your Food: We all need a moment to pause during the day and meal times used to be breaks. Can you put away the phone, stop eating at your desk and actually taste your food?
  • Feel Your Fullness: Listen to the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry.
  • Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness: Recognize that food restriction, both physically and mentally, can trigger loss of control which can feel like emotional eating.
  • Respect Your Body: Accept your genetic blueprint. Respect your body so you can feel better about who you are.  All bodies deserve dignity.
  • Movement-Feel the Difference: Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie-burning effect of exercise.
  1. Honor Your Health-Gentle Nutrition: Make food choices that honor your health and taste buds while making you feel good. Remember that you don’t have to eat perfectly to be healthy.

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